Sunday, January 11, 2009

Yes, Jesus Loves You Picture Book

I'm so excited that after many years of trying I have illustrated a picture book. Yes, Jesus Loves You by Heather Tietz. I had to read the catalog entry on by Paulist Press several times to believe it's true. It's on pg. 15 of the PDF for the Spring 09 Catolog. YEAH, Here's the catalog description:

Written by Heather Tietz, Illustrated by Nancy Miller
Yes, Jesus Loves You Ages 5-9
Yes, Jesus Loves You is a soothing stroll through God’s creation, in lullaby form. His love for us can be seen throughout all he’s made. The very shape and function of our physical bodies were designed by Him. Animals, great and small, the elements, tame and unreserved, plants, frail and strong, are often quiet lessons about God’s character and His love for humankind. Even the night itself is from God-the stars, a night light, the call of insects, a song, the darkness a reminder to pray. This charming story may be sung or simply read and lends itself easily to accompanying hand movements. It is perfect for church, for school, or for putting little ones to bed with a sense of peace and joy.

Heather Tietz lives in Chino Hills, CA.

16 pages / 9 x 8 / Hardcover / World rights
978-0-8091-6743-2 / $14.95

Available for preorder on

...Paulist Press began to expand rapidly in the 1950s. By 1966 it was the largest Catholic distributor and publisher in the world, employing 235 lay employees and the services of six Paulist priests, and distributing nearly 20 million books, pamphlets, and magazines each year. To channel books into Catholic parishes around the country, the Press established the National Catholic Reading Distributors (NCRD) in 1958. In 1962 Paulist Press enlarged greatly when it acquired Newman Press, with two book stores in Baltimore and Washington, D.C...Through children's books, works on spirituality and prayer, and studies of the latest developments in theology and scripture, the Press continues its mission to bring the riches of the Catholic heritage to Catholics and persons of other religious traditions.

I'm so glad I never gave up. I can only tell you when I first got out of college I was pretty idealistic and thought if you are talented enough they will find you. I also didn't realize how common place rejection was in the picture book industry. I'd hung up my illustrator's cap for 4 years before I tried to revisit send out work to publishers. I was green and naive.

It was later on when I was working as a graphic designer at a magazine that I met a co-worker that had similar interest in picture books. It sparked something in me and made say I'm really going to try this time and not give up. I joined the SCBWI in 2002 and then I attended a regional conference. That was an eye opener. Just in the region I'm in there was a large attendance. Attendance of some of the most talented published authors and illustrators in the country. Yikes! You know I met some really nice illustrators and writers. This is just a bias but I think children's book writers and illustrators are some of the nicest people you will ever met. They are passionate and they will share what they know without a bat of an eye.

It was after I attended the conference I had a completely different perception on some of the old rejections I'd received. Back then I'd submitted a joint submission with a writer friend. We actually got a letter from a major publisher saying they were taking it to an editorial meeting to consider it for publication. A month later we go a rejection notice with comments. Prior to the conference I thought if you don't get accepted what's the point of it. The conference folks that I sat with said you have to realize the number of submissions major publisher receive and the fact that they wrote back is a positive sign. Also the fact the editorial assistant provided comments from the meeting is an additional plus. I'm glad I decided to listen to those nice folks. Sad, to say I don't remember all their names. But two illustrators I met at the conference Liz Conard and Elizabeth Dulemba were always so great to stay in touch and email words of encouragement.

Also a thanks to Belgin whom I met via email serendipitously through another illustrator.

Now when I look at that particular rejection letter I see the positive side of it. If you read between the lines sometimes rejection letters are telling that you should keep going.

Btw, sorry for any typos this is an uber long post.

Blog Cleaning

I decided to get rid of my old blog since I decided to streamline things. I've been really trying to keep things tidy, so there is no longer a link to my old blog archives on this site. Sorry if anyone had links to it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Chris Van Allsburg

I'm a big fan of Chris Van Allsburg, but then who isn't. I recently went to his site and noticed that things had changed. It's highly interactive and too much fun.

Monday, January 5, 2009


I've been working on a new path. It's taken some time but I'm working on become an art teacher for K-12. This change has taken sometime to go through but I'm so glad I did. I recently found out that my previous job that I worked at ended up closing their offices. It's one of those things I knew I didn't want to be a inhouse graphic designer anymore. It's one of those things I've learned with time that isn't varied enough for me to be happy with. I'm almost finished with my getting my K-12 certification. Since I getting my certification I've taken so many wonderful studio classes that wasn't required with my bachelors. Ceramics, Sculpture, Printmaking, & Crafts. All of which I enjoyed. Especially Sculpture and Printmaking. The pictures above are from the Sculpture course I recently took. The professor was fantastic.

Sculpture is just too much fun. I recommend working 3D. I was really intimidated. I only took a 3D design in college. That was working in wood, plaster, and wire. Clay sculpture like trying to learn to draw all over again. Really challenging and pushes you to think about your work in so many other ways. There's also just structural and engineering aspect of it that I liked.

New Year's Resolutions

I think these glasses are too funny, but wonder what will happen when it's 2010? That year might not work so well. On to resolutions. I'm going to only make a few resolutions for this coming year.

1. Really try and attempt to create some digital illustrations. The operative words are "Really try". I find that I'm so fond of my pastels. I've used pastels for the past 17 years and they are my best friends. Watercolors and pen/ink make the list for 2nd and 3rd. I've seen digital illustrations that I've found to be not overly digital that I like. I wonder if I can make my digital illustrations look just like my pastel work. Then I wonder why even bother and just use the pastels? It does cut down on the need for packing and shipping. Saving money is a plus. No dirty fingers. Of course when you go down that road there is always upgrading your computer and software. I used to work at a magazine and it was tricky when the photographers switched from slides to digital. There really wasn't a basis for comparison for proofs. It added additional steps of proofing and changing the color in the production phase. I don't really know if I made the best judgment compared to what the photographer intended. Likewise I'm sure that can happen for digital illustration unless you have some kinda of hardcopy for the designer or production to match.

2. Send out more targeted promos. This Christmas I sent out only 13 postcards using the Premium Postcards service. I'm hoping to get some more illustration samples printed and send out some packets. I've been thinking about a handmade type book. I love artists books. Probably only 10 max. I'm going to do a better job of researching publishers.

3. Hopefully with 2 that will lead to more book contracts. I've gotten a couple of things in the works, but not solid. We'll see.

An illustrator friend of mine posted on her blog some previous articles she's written about the biz of children's book illustration. Here's a link to

I hope 2009 is a fruitful and happy one for all.